Stop the drill and no one gets hurt – InsuranceNewsNet


I used to think there was nothing sexier than seeing my husband walking around the house with a toolbox and a ladder on his way to do a home improvement project for me. No more.

Not since I saw a report on how many home improvement projects are bringing DIY enthusiasts to the ER. Now I love seeing other men walking around my house with tools and a ladder doing a household project for me because it means DC doesn’t risk losing critical body parts.

According to the new study, published this week by Clearsurance, an online platform that helps consumers shop and compare insurance plans, home improvement injuries resulted in nearly 300,000 trips in the emergency room in 2020, the year on which the report was based. It’s a record.

People. People. People.

I’m sharing this news with DC to dissuade him from any future scale.

“Do these numbers include wounded pride?” he wants to know.

“If it did, every neighborhood would need a MASH unit,” I said.

“In the insurance industry, we get a lot of accident claims,” ​​said Laura Adams, insurance analyst for Clearsurance. “Keeping people safe helps prevent claims and injuries,” she said of the company’s motive behind the report. “We wanted to remind them to be careful.”

Here are some other findings from the report, which are based on figures from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Home renovation injuries accounted for 3% of all ED visits in United States, i.e. 290,599 emergency room visits in 2020; 8% of these patients were injured enough to be admitted.

Fingers were by far the most injured body part (117,026), followed by hands (37,308) and eyeballs (34,827). Youch! The neck was the least frequently injured part of the body. I guess that’s because neck-wringing spouses fall into a different category.

Lacerations led to 127,486 emergency room visits, followed by fractures at 35,917. The most puzzling internal organ injuries accounted for 7,456 visits. What happened there?

Collectively, power tools – from workshop table saws to cordless drills – were involved in more than a third of all injuries, followed closely by hand tools (hammers, screwdrivers and other tools you don’t plug in ).

Given that the report also revealed that the total number of ER visits for DIY-related injuries hit a 10-year high, and that spring, like now, is when home improvement projects peak , I thought it would be a good time to have a little discussion about security.

It all boils down to this: you want the sense to undertake home improvements and repairs yourself, the humility to hire someone else when you should, and the wisdom to know the difference. .

Here’s a hint. Before embarking on a project on your own, answer this question:

Injuries (and other bad outcomes) happen when: a) we do something we are not qualified for; b) we do not have the correct equipment or protective equipment; c) we are cheap; All the foregoing.

Do you know the answer. To avoid being part of the statistics for the next report, here is what Adams recommends:

Know your limits. It’s humiliating, especially for those who deal with (or have) a male ego, but be realistic. In other words, go ahead and paint the bookcase, but if the project involves working on a metal extension ladder, outdoors, in the rain, with power tools, consider calling in a professional. approved.

Get a quote. Before you decide to do the job yourself, get a quote first just for comparison. “It may be less than you think and it’s worth the price in the long run,” Adams said. Have you estimated the cost of an emergency room visit recently?

Get the right tools. Do not use a bread knife instead of a handsaw. The cost of the right tools can pay off for a DIYer who already has the right tools (and knows how to use them). If you go ahead, read the instructions first. Uh.

Dress for work. Wear safety glasses. Wear sturdy shoes that cover your entire foot in case you step on a nail or drop a can of paint on your toe. Don’t wear anything that could get caught in gear, such as drawstrings, fringed shirts, droopy sleeves, or drawstrings around the neck.

Confirm your coverages. In the event that you or someone assisting you gets injured, you will want to have current health insurance for you and home insurance, which can step in to cover others. When hiring professionals, ask to see a copy of their insurance certificate to verify that they have workers’ compensation and liability coverage.

Check your fire extinguisher. Know where it is and make sure it’s up to date.

Don’t work alone. We all know the type, Adams said. Those most likely to get into trouble are the independent types who tend to tackle projects on their own. However, having someone around in case you need a helping hand or have an accident could literally save your life.

Marni Jameson is the author of six home and lifestyle books, including “Downsizing the Family Home – What to Save, What to Let Go”. You can reach her at

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Marni Jameson


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